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RAS Questions/Wheelchair User

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  • RAS Questions/Wheelchair User

    Hi All,

    I just purchased the Ridged RAS and I have a few questions. As I hinted in the topic, I am in a wheelchair. The reason I got a RAS is because I am generally to low for a TS. I can't reach (safely) far enough accross the able to securely push the piece through the blade. With a RAS I can set up the piece and just pull the saw through the piece.

    OK Here's the questions:

    1. I need to lower the stand about 8 1/2 inches. I plan on cutting the legs. Can anyone think of an adjustable stand that would replace the stock stand? I'd rather not try to cut the legs if I don't have to because it will be hard to get it level (or, slightly tipped to the back).

    2. Is there any reason why I can't clamp the project wood to the table? Is there any downsides to doing this? Can I clamp both sides of the piece?

    3. Lastly, the instructions lead me to believe that after the cut is made you should return the blade back behind the fence before you shut off the saw. Is this correct? What happens if the cut off portion of the wood moves into the track of the blade?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.


  • #2
    Mike----tried to get into the Rigid tool site, but it's not working right now----reason being, I couldn't remember if the post height adjustment is on top of the arm or below the table---this would be a consideration in alternative mounting/support situations.

    1) As to alternative ways to mount the saw----I think what you would want is something with an open area underneath, so you could get close to the handle and controls. I would say to consider a "bridge" between two side supports, with either doubled plywood or some 2x stock supports. Sort of on the order of how they make sinks for wheelchair access.

    2) I would say you could clamp one side of the stock to the fence---- you could substitute a fence a bit taller than your average stock thickness. I'd advise against clamping both sides, as you don't want to chance binding the cut from unequal clamping position/pressure.

    3) If you had a small cut-off that vibrated back into the line of the blade, I'd shut down the saw letting the blade stop, before removing the piece. You don't want to place your hands near a moving blade, which is the purpose of the recommendation.

    Since the saw level will be closer to your face, once you lower it, I would suggest adding dust collection to the saw and also being sure to wear safety glasses.

    Hope this helps.


    • #3
      Hi Dave, thanks for the reply.

      Are you suggesting that I build a support and not use the stand that came with the saw?? That could be very interesting. Essentially, I would be using the saw like a bench top saw, correct? Do you know if there is anything unique about the stock stand? Any reason I couldn't build my own?

      Thanks, Mike


      • #4
        Mike---with an RAS, almost all the tool's weight is on the back of the stand, where the post attaches. I'm sorry---the Rigid site is still not responding----anyway, look at the diagram of where the saw attaches to the stand. What I had in mind was two cabinet frames, with dimensional stock connecting the two end cabinets, with the stock at the right height so you could reach the controls from the wheelchair. The critical bolting would be at the rear of the saw---where you'd want to use bolts with washers. The tops of the two side cabinets would be the same height as your saw top, so you could increase the support for your work. I have seen similar cabinets for RASs, so a search might reveal some ideas. But, with using a framework (with plywood attached) and just leaving the middle section open, you would not only have storage for blades and other accessories, but have a very nice work surface.


        • #5
          Mike -

          I highly recommend you join the following forum:

          The guys here are just fabulous and there is a wealth of knowledge and they may be able to suggest a stand for you...



          • #6
            UO-Woody has a post in General Woodworking Discussion under rigid ras 1000 in which he has a picture of his ras mounted the way I believe Dave is telling you,only in your case you would remove the legs and build a support for your saw.
            Hope this will help.


            • #7
              Michael, you have my greatest admiration for not letting anything stand in your way for your passion of accomplishments.

              Yes, there is a adjustable stand made by Ridgid. It's 69.95 and the number is AC9910 called the Universal Leg stand. Though it's not marked for drilling and mounting for the RAS, I'm sure you would have no problem in fitting it to it at it's lowest level. And actually, the manual for the RAS states you want a slight negitive angle to the back of the table. This is to help prevent the blade from drifting forward when power is turned on.

              Clamping stock to your table is perfectly safe, and I have read articles and hints on methods of work where they suggest you drill wholes in the table top of the RAS and use a drill press vise grip style clamp to secure your work. Though these clamps have toothed pivot head pads, it would take nothing to epoxy a piece of softer pine to it. For ripping, you could actually rig a sliding table, or clamp an auxilary fence to help you with the task.

              In most cases, if a unsupported piece of stock that has been cut off comes in contact with the blade, it will most likly be of the slightest presure, and simply bounch away from the blade slightly. It's happened to me a number of times.

              Pertaining to other posts, to aid you in supporting your work, I do suggest you construct some kind of support on both sides of the RAS for long stock and ripping. In your case, I have thought of many alternatives. But the one that sticks in my mind is: Build a frame that can mount to the wall, and have angle supports from the wall frame to the outside of the table top. This will allow you to get closer to the work surface, unlike the set up I have. Instead of the universal stand, it would be possable to do about the same thing for a saw mount, giving total access to reach to the furthest back portions of your work surface. Remember, to change fences, or shift the fence, you have to loosing 2 wing nuts on the back of the RAS table. You'll want to be able to reach these from accross the table, or from underneith.

              I'm am very confident you will come up with an inexpensive and reasonable solution with all the help you have availble here this forums. And remember, take photo's! I love photo's!!!
              John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a>


              • #8
                Thanks for all of the great replies. I have looked at both the optional table saw stand (adjustable) and the Herculift. As far as the height goes, they both would work. I can go as high as 24" for the stand. My concern is how I mount the saw.

                The herculift is not wide enough and the adjustable stand seems to have two boards with a gap in the middle for a table top. I could only look at the pictures on the box so I may be wrong.

                Any ideas?



                • #9
                  quoating from Ridgid's Accessories manual:
                  The Herc-U-Lift:
                  Large 300lb Capicity...
                  Fit's all Ridgid belt drive table saws, radial saw, band saw, wood lathe (requires an additional extension bar kit AC9951) and Ridgid Universal Tool Stand AC9910 (and select Craftsman products).

                  I have 3 of the Universal stands and are marked for various table top machines. There are 2 pcs of 1 1/8" MDF for a top, that is true. Although it is not marked for machines that come with stands (Made for table top machinery); I looked at the base of my RAS and it has an inward lip with predrilled holes in the corners of the base. You could easialy center the base on a Universal stand, pencil mark through the wholes, drill, and bolt the RAS to the Universal stand. And the AC9950 Herc-U-Lift Plus (SKU#352-522) lift system is made to work with the Universal stand...According to the Accessories Manual.

                  [ 02-27-2003, 02:04 AM: Message edited by: UO_Woody ]
                  John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a>


                  • #10

                    Well, I finally got the "beast" together. I ended up using the acces. stand and it came out to the perfect height for me. I feel that I have much better control of this than with a table saw.

                    My next hurdle is to find a clamp that will hold down the workpiece to the fence. I can't find anything at HD that looks like it will work. Does anyone have their RS fitted with a clamp or vice? If so, what did you use?

                    Thanks for all the help.



                    • #11
                      If you want to keep work tight to the fence, I'd recommend a QuickClamp bar clamp---maybe a 24" or 30" one.